Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare

02.12.09

Categorie: Afghanistan, Air, David Axe, Robots |

by DAVID AXE

James Curry loves to fly. The US Air Force lieutenant colonel is especially fond of the Boeing-made KC-135 tankers he used to pilot. The 50-year-old aerial tankers — flying fuel dumps, essentially — are “real planes,” he says. “All hydraulics,” as opposed to today’s computerised, fly-by-wire aircraft. Curry describes taking off on a cloudy day and breaking through the cloud cover to the brilliant sunlight up above.

The 38-year-old’s romantic odes to classic flying belie the cutting-edge work he’s overseeing on the front lines of the Afghanistan air war. After his tanker gig, Curry did a stint in Las Vegas steering missile-armed Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by satellite. That led to an assignment commanding the forward element of the Air Force’s largest combat drone formation, the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, based at Kandahar airfield, in Afghanistan’s arid south. This summer, Curry and his American and British pilots and mechanics started to combine Predator and Reaper drones with off-the-shelf computers, some secretive research and a little bit of imagination, to invent new tactics for robotic warfare.

The end result: Kandahar just got a little more dangerous for the bad guys, and little safer for Nato troops and everyday Afghans. All thanks to a man and his drones.

Read the rest at Wired.co.uk.

(Photo: David Axe)

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10 Responses to “Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare”

  1. [...] Related: Offiziere.ch: In Afghanistan, Helicopters Represent NATO’s Greatest Strength, Biggest Weakness Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare VoA News: U.S. Troops Experiment with New Strategy for Afghanistan World Politics Review: After Setbacks, Human Terrain System Rebuilds Taliban Propaganda Drools over Killed Vehicles World Politics Review: U.S. Air Force Advisers Struggle with Afghan Cultural Gap French Origins of the “Ink Spot” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  2. [...] Related: VoA News: Logistics Play Key Role in U.S. War Effort in Afghanistan Offiziere.ch: In Afghanistan, Helicopters Represent NATO’s Greatest Strength, Biggest Weakness Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare VoA News: U.S. Troops Experiment with New Strategy for Afghanistan World Politics Review: After Setbacks, Human Terrain System Rebuilds Taliban Propaganda Drools over Killed Vehicles World Politics Review: U.S. Air Force Advisers Struggle with Afghan Cultural Gap French Origins of the “Ink Spot” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  3. [...] Related: Axe-SPAN: On U.S. Training of Afghan Army and Police VoA News: Logistics Play Key Role in U.S. War Effort in Afghanistan Offiziere.ch: In Afghanistan, Helicopters Represent NATO’s Greatest Strength, Biggest Weakness Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare VoA News: U.S. Troops Experiment with New Strategy for Afghanistan World Politics Review: After Setbacks, Human Terrain System Rebuilds Taliban Propaganda Drools over Killed Vehicles World Politics Review: U.S. Air Force Advisers Struggle with Afghan Cultural Gap French Origins of the “Ink Spot” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  4. [...] Related: Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare Unmanned Systems: Robot Forklift Heralds Progress for Unmanned Logistics How to Fly Drones in Formation Ripsaw Tank Bot Speeds at 60 Miles Per Hour Offiziere.ch: U.S. Marines Want Robot Squadmates Offiziere.ch: Armies Pursue Swarms, and Defenses against Them Nazi Germany’s “Tracked Mine” Robot, Defeated by Rifle Fire Unmanned Systems: “Snake Bot” to Slither on Future Battlefields No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  5. [...] Related: World Politics Review: Dutch Government Mulls Departure from Afghan War Columbia City Paper: The Impossible War — Obama Commits More Troops to Afghanistan, with the Wrong Strategy VoA News: Training Afghan Forces Poses Challenge for U.S. Military Axe-SPAN: On U.S. Training of Afghan Army and Police VoA News: Logistics Play Key Role in U.S. War Effort in Afghanistan Offiziere.ch: In Afghanistan, Helicopters Represent NATO’s Greatest Strength, Biggest Weakness Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare VoA News: U.S. Troops Experiment with New Strategy for Afghanistan World Politics Review: After Setbacks, Human Terrain System Rebuilds Taliban Propaganda Drools over Killed Vehicles World Politics Review: U.S. Air Force Advisers Struggle with Afghan Cultural Gap French Origins of the “Ink Spot” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  6. [...] Related: Worrying over Afghanistan’s Pot-head Soldiers Marco Kroon: Knighted Commando, Part Two Marco Kroon: Knighted Commando, Part One Axe-SPAN: U.S. Training of Afghan Air Force World Politics Review: Dutch Government Mulls Departure from Afghan War Columbia City Paper: The Impossible War — Obama Commits More Troops to Afghanistan, with the Wrong Strategy VoA News: Training Afghan Forces Poses Challenge for U.S. Military Axe-SPAN: On U.S. Training of Afghan Army and Police VoA News: Logistics Play Key Role in U.S. War Effort in Afghanistan Offiziere.ch: In Afghanistan, Helicopters Represent NATO’s Greatest Strength, Biggest Weakness Wired.co.uk: A Man and His Drones — on the Front Line of Robotic Warfare VoA News: U.S. Troops Experiment with New Strategy for Afghanistan World Politics Review: After Setbacks, Human Terrain System Rebuilds Taliban Propaganda Drools over Killed Vehicles World Politics Review: U.S. Air Force Advisers Struggle with Afghan Cultural Gap French Origins of the “Ink Spot” No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  7. [...] of the U.S.-based squadrons that actually control the drones during their combat sorties — is flying the SAR missions itself. That shift, from a support role to a more direct combat role for the expeditionary UAV squadrons, [...]

  8. trin says:

    war is really boring..